Welby Altidor is an Executive Creative Director who practiced, for nearly 16 years, with Cirque du Soleil. He argues that creativity isn’t reserved to a happy few, but the result of intentional practice: it can be found within all of us. In keynotes, Altidor presents his concept of “creative courage”—uncovering innovation through engagement, collaboration, and controlled failure—and how it can transform our approach to business and life.
As Executive Creative Director of Creations at Cirque du Soleil, one of the world’s most creative companies, Welby Altidor seconded the company’s Creative Guide in overseeing the development of a portfolio of Cirque’s core future projects. He was Creative Director for Michael Jackson ONE, “a multimedia extravaganza that often flies high, but never loses sight of its inspiration” (Associated Press) that is currently in residence at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. He spearheaded the creation of C:LAB, the creative laboratory of The Cirque du Soleil Group. The lab’s first project, SPARKED, a short film that features 10 quadcopters and unites humans and flying machines in choreography, won several prizes and accolades, including the NYC International drone film festival award for Best Short Featuring drones in 2016.
Previously, Altidor was Cirque du Soleil’s Director of Creation in the Images, Events, and Lifestyle division, where he led a number of large-scale creative projects with a number of leading Hollywood creators and artists. He was previously Director of Strategic Relations, Arts, Circus, and Sports. In this role, he developed strategic partnerships in more than a dozen countries, including an important alliance with the International Gymnastics Federation. His first position at Cirque was in the casting department as a talent scout, traveling the world and recruiting hundreds of artists for Cirque shows.
Altidor is currently writing a book about the role of creative courage in making changes in any organization and project. He will share his unique, surprising journey over the last 20 years at the cutting edge of live innovation, relentlessly working towards moving audiences and stressing the importance of creating collaborative cultures. He’s particularly inspired by work at the crossroad of creativity, business, commerce and art.
“You [Welby Altidor] were so wonderful to work with and I hope to have another opportunity soon. Presenters like you make my job so much easier—thanks! Best wishes to you and to the future success of Cirque!”Economic Developers Council of Ontario
“Welby Altidor is a fantastic speaker and inspiration. His positive energy and creative perspective really drive home his messages to audiences with sincerity. He has a great playful side to him that engages his audiences making participation fun. I highly recommend Welby for motivating large groups and conducting speaking events.”Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort
Creative Courage Challenge the Status Quo and Make Big Ideas Happen
Welby Altidor is a firm believer that, whether we realize it or not, we all have access to a unique creative genius in all of us. It takes courage—creative courage—to welcome and unleash that inner force. Drawing on his experiences as Director of Creation for Cirque du Soleil’s hit Las Vegas show Michael Jackson ONE, Altidor focuses on engagement, motivation, focus, authenticity, and leadership. There are no dumb ideas, he says, just platforms to build upon. We have to give everyone a voice, and collaborate to access an idea’s full potential. We should seek feedback early—essentially scheduling failure—to improve. Businesses and organizations need to be more creative and innovative, he argues—and a creative mindset can help us solve problems, challenge the status quo, and be more successful than ever.